P Visa Category

The P visa category is for entertainers and athletes who do not meet the "extraordinary ability" standard for an O visa. Much like the O visa category, there is no explicit limit on the period of stay granted to a P visa recipient except that the P-1A athlete can obtain an initial period of stay up to five years. The P visa will be granted for the time needed to compete or perform in the designated event, for up to one year maximum.

Extensions of stay can be granted for P-1A athletes for an additional period, up to five years, with a maximum total time spent on P-1A capped at 10 years. All other P visa aliens can extend in increments of up to 1 year to continue the event or activity initially indicated on the petition. In addition, extension may be granted for new but similar events or activities.

P-1A: Internationally Recognized Athletes

These visas are granted to individual or team athletes who can demonstrate evidence that the individual or the team as a unit has achieved international recognition in the sport. International recognition has been defined as a high level of achievement in a field sustainably above what is ordinarily encountered. International recognition can be evidenced by participation in a major league sports team or involvement in an international competition. Some high level minor league athletes can also qualify for a P-1A visa.

P-1B: A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group

The P-1B visa is granted to members of internationally recognized entertainment groups. It is important to note that individual entertainers are not eligible for this visa classification. To be granted a P-1B visa, the entertainment group must have been internationally recognized for a sustained and substantial period of time. In addition, 75% of the members of the group must have a sustained and substantial relationship with the group for at least one year. There are a few exceptions to the one-year membership requirement. If you would like to discuss this visa in further detail please contact our office today.

P-2 Visa: Performer or Group Performing under reciprocal exchange program

The P-2 category covers artists and entertainers including individuals who are coming to the United States (U.S.) to become a part of a reciprocal exchange program between a foreign-based and U.S. based organization. The groups participating in the exchange must be comprised of a similar caliber of performers and similar number of performers.

P-3 Visa: Artist or entertainer part of a culturally unique program

These visas are available for culturally unique artists or performers but the statute does not define "culturally unique." The P-3 visa may be granted to artists or performers who are coming to the U.S. for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical or artistic performance.

For more information about P visas, please contact the Law Office of Samuel Berger today. We specialize in helping individuals, families and businesses obtain the visas they need.